Sherwood Covenant

Session 2

The magi are joined by their remaining sodales, Gideon and Simon, who had encountered a considerable amount of difficulty in navigating the forest.

Simon canvases his new home with an eye for Vis and detects some potential in a patch of moss on the wall of one of the laboratories. He also spots a glimmer of something further out into the forest.

Exploring the tower the magi locate a door to a basement and decide to head within to check it out. Lillith lights the way with a number of floating orbs and the group discovery an empty room below with a number of tunnels leading out of it. More alarming however is the faintly audible sound of slow, massive breaths emanating from two of the passages. Gideon returns to the entrance, creating an illusion to be his scout in the dark; he is soon joined by Simon who watches inquisitively.
The others proceed down the passage and between the breathing and faint light of a jet of flame filling the passage further down conclude that a dragon lies within. Shortly after this realisation Gideon finds his illusion snuffed out by a potent magical force and the rest are addressed by a titanic voice which informs then that they have broken some agreement.
Simon decides to join the others whilst Luscinia creates a fine melody that seems to somewhat ease the beast’s disposition. Scenting Lillith’s draconic heritage the dragon invites her to come forward, promising safety for herself and one companion. Hypatia and Simon go with her, the Criamon seeming quite unconcerned despite Hypatia’s claiming of the ‘plus one’ position.

Travelling up the passage the magi are greeted by the sight of a great reptilian eye. Further conversation with the creature determines that the bargain was that it must remain in the chamber here so long as it was not disturbed. Unsurprisingly it seems pleased at the intrusion, however it still demands gifts from its visitors and is frequently insulting about Lillith’s parentage. Hypatia is able to win its approval with some formal debate and the dragon seems agreeable to its great deeds being recorded at a later date.
Before they leave the dragon observes that it has met a criamon before and warn’s Simon to tread carefully when walking through labyrinths. It refuses to give its name and suggests to Lillith she speak to her grandfather Heremon about the one who broke his legs.

Their underground excursion done, Claudius reveals his theory that the tunnels beneath the tower are roots whilst the regio above forms branchs with the clouds being leaves. By this understanding the covenant is a great tree and he predicts that come autumn the clouds will disperse and access to the regio will be lost. The magi decide that extracting Cymbulus from the regio before then must be a priority and as a group enter the airy realm.

Claudius summons up circling winds to rebuff the worst of the gale that assaults those within the regio. Once again the assistance of the zephyrs is sought, though this time they find them somewhat less useful. Trudging down the ‘branch’ towards the ‘trunk’ the magi encounter Cymbulus frozen in twilight at the centre of the chamber. Simon attempts to commune with the Archmage by provoking a twilight experience of his own, and comprehending the resultant visions he is able to direct the wizened magus’ body and the group walks him back out of the Regio to safety.

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Session 3

The next morning the group is posed with two difficulties. Claudius’ scribe Carlotta is missing somewhere out in the forest and more importantly the large chest containing the books that had been gifted to the covenant has yet to be found!

Whilst William the Steward headed into the villages to search for a carpenter the Magi bravely set out to reclaim their lost possessions. Travelling into the forest they encounter Tom Forester who warns then that Carlotta appears to have fallen into the clutches of a group of local bandits. Some scrying later the group determines that Carlotta is currently unharmed and seems to think herself in control of the situation. The magi decide to split up, Claudius and Gideon going to retreive the errant scribe along with most of the grogs, while the other magi will retrieve the chest.

The magically enhanced noses of the chest-hunters soon lead them towards a boggy swamp and after some mucky trudging (partially abated by terram manipulation) the group find their treasure sunk to the bottom of a deep pool. Anxious to raise the precious books from the water Hypatia Regos the chest up and out, but as it breeches the surface a shimmering metallic eel leaps from the pool and entwines itself about the Tytalus maga.

Meanwhile Tom leads the other party to the bandit’s hideout and Gideon quickly eliminates the guard with his ancestor’s gift. Claudius sneaks forward and attempts to communicate with his agent but his magic twists and his words are conveyed to the ruffians instead, who promptly panic and grab for their weapons.

At the pool Hypatia hurriedly summons her blade as the creature continues to crush her fragile body. Luscinia’s potent animal magic is deflected by the creature’s magic resistance whilst Lillith finds the local earth difficult to control, shooting a crystal shard through her own palm. Simon has rather more luck moving the eel’s magicl potential out of its razor scales and into its innards.
Having recovered from their shock the mage’s next actions are rather more effective. Luscinia shrinking the eel to a fraction of its former length whilst Lillith punctures it with razor sharp crystal. The creature attempts to flee but Simon scares it with a brief illusion, and as it hesitates Hypatia scythes it in two with her greatsword.
Wounded but triumphant the magi carry the chest and dead eel home.

At the cave Gideon and Claudius mow through the panicked bandits with ease, immobilising 3/4 of their number in a few instants whilst the grogs and Tom Forester see to the rest. Deciding that they might have use for some additional manpower, Gideon filters out the truly bad sorts and having seen the blackhearted villains hanged they take the rest home to be trained as grogs.

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Session 4

Returning from their travails in the forest the magi realise that their book chest is missing a key. One quick imaginem spell later a ghastly din projects from Cymbulus’ familiar Albertus who takes off with a distressed squawk.

A mouse is secured as a peace offering and Luscinia manages to persuade the familiar to open the chest. Hypatia immediately begins to examine the books for damage and to place them out on the library shelves.

Luscinia accepts Albertus’ offer to see some more of Cymbulus’ books and is swallowed. This is less horrible than one might expect for inside the familiar is a spacious waiting room and laboratory. She is met by a man introducing himself as Albert who shows her some of Cymbulus’ writings and makes polite conversation over a glass of wine. Apparently most of the Covenant’s books were sold to a continental penfriend of the archmage in exchange for vis.

The magi spend some time considering their covenant charter before William returns from his trip to the village having located a carpeneter. The magi agree to don the guise of a group of wealthy scholars setting up home in an abandoned tower.
Claudius travels into Edwinstowe and makes a good impression on the locals. Whilst his explanation of the scholars arrival with their sizable company of men-at-arms raises some eyebrows, the redcap’s affable manner seems to have charmed the villagers.

The carpenter Francis visits the site (which the magi disguise somewhat we illusion) and determines that it will take several weeks to properly reroof the tower. He returns the next morning with a veritable horde of ‘helpers’ however forwarned by Claudius most of the magi have made themself scarce or else taken to their chambers.

Simon leads a party out in search of he Vis source he detected previously and the magi swiftly locate a great tree which is inexplicably laden with grapes. The magi detect the presence of a fairy aura to the place and Luscinia’s ears pick up the distant sound of fae merriment. When the sounds of celebration draw closer the party sensibly withdraws, planning to obtain the Imaginem vis some other day when they are better prepared.

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Session 5

With the full moon approaching Gideon requests that alterations be made to his room to prepare for an unspecified supenatural threat. This causes a certain amount of concern amongst the covenant though Hypatia is inspired to ask Duncan to install a thorough security system in the fledgling library.
The Scotsman seems happy at the prospect of a proper smithing project but is thwarted by a lack of available iron. Lillith eventually agrees to explore the non-dragon tunnels with him, and as the giant insists that the ‘wee folk’ are about Luscinia appears interested too.

William the Steward proposes an expedition to Lincoln to acquire more iron and other goods from the covenant, Hypatia urges him to purchase any books he should deem suitable.

Claudius and Lillith work together to proof Gideon’s room against the imminent threat and the quasitor creates a number of circle based spells of his own to fend off the imminent transformation.

Meanwhile Simon is hard at work attempting to reconstruct a mirror which he has dicovered amongst the detritus of Speculus’ room. Whilst the fragments appeared unremarkable to the other magi, something about their form tweaks his Enigmatic understanding…

Luscinia and Claudius take a trip into Edwinstowe and speak to the locals about legends of the forest. They hear of a great bear and a white stag which are said to dwell nearby, and of the underfolk who apparently can be traded with. They learn the legend of the feasting tree and above all have impressed upon them the scurillous nature of the folk of Allerton.

Come the full moon Gideon transforms into a wolf but thanks to the preparations is safely and silently ensconced within his chambers. Unfortunately matters are complicated by the arrival of a back of wolves who gather at the edge of the aegis and howl for Gideon to come out. Lillith lights the dark night to reveal The Pack, whilst Luscinia manages to undertand the wolves howl and spots Gideon in his new Lupine form. Hypatia hurries down stairs in her magical panoply and takes up position at the edge of the aegis, ready if the Pack should break through.
At this juncture Simon, distracted from his mirror arrangement is hurled into twilight by an errant spell and appears some minutes later to drop directly into the wolf pack. Fortunately the wolves are initially friendly, although Hypatia hurls herself into the fray ready to carry the Crimaon back to safety.
A hunting call sounds from the forest, which Luscinia identifies as being created by Fairy, and the wolves turn aggressive before darting off into the night. In his chambers Gideon’s calming circle is overwhelmed and the wolf knocks itself unconscious trying to breech the door.

Come the morning Gideon has little explanation for the events of the previous night. Sir Gilbert arrives bearing a chunk of bark from the woods outside. On the bark a letter is written in the tongue of the High Sidhe which Luscinia is mostly able to translate. It asks, in an extremely affronted tone, why Gideon has refused the gift that has been sent him. The magi speculate that he may have some sort of fairy suitor and Gideon finds to his discomfort that he is missing memories that might explain the event. Worse still it seems his very dreams are being regulated by a powerful mentem effect implanted by his master.

The rains about the covenant intensify and the magi give up any plans of venturing away from their home until after the equinox. However the sturdy folk of Edwinstowe continue to toil and come the end of summer the new roof is completed.

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Session 6 - Summer 1220

The magi write to their parens throughout the country and beyond, asking for somebody to provide a casting text for the Aegis of the Hearth in case Cymbulus does not emerge from twilight in time for the Winter Solstice.

As Autumn approaches the rainsclouds over Nottingham begin to draw in, forming a dense black stormcloud directly over the covenant.
Predicting a rather severe downpour, potentially with magical side effects the magi send the grogs inside where they won’t be effected by the magical overflow. Thereupon they make preparations to harvest any vis that might be released during the final cloudburst. Lillith creates a great stone basin in the covenant clear to capture the rainwater, whilst Claudius and Hypatia prepare a lightning rod upon the Convenant roof and Gideon devises a spell to predict the direction of the lightning strike.

As the storm breaks the magi are momentarily dazzled by the rain which glows with a bright iridescence. Reacting quickly they Muto their bodies to adapt to the light, unfortunately Gideon suffers a slight mistep in casting and whilst his vision is adjusted, his eyes transform to a fluid and wash away in the downpour.
Fortunately Luscinia is on hand and with her keen avian vision locates the eyes before they flow over the edge of the tower.
Meanwhile Gideon detects an incoming lightning blast and warns Claudius out of the way as it surges in towards the conductor. As it strikes the Mercere magus transforms the bolt from lightning into wood and from the oak rod a mighty tree bursts forth.
The eyes are returned to Gideon who manages get them correctly back in place before ending his spell. However there are still specks of light dancing in his eyeballs- droplets of rainwater mixed with the eye.

On the ground Lillith and Hypatia are collecting the cannonball sized hail stones that are plummeting to the stone ground. Concerned that the stones that shatter are wasting potential vis, Hypatia begins to harden them as they drop through the air, meanwhile Lillith raises up shelters of earth to protect her as she gathers up the stones. Unfortunately one of her protective spells goes awry, entombing the mage in stone for several moments before she can free herself with the Tytalus’ aid.

As the storm begins to wane, Luscinia spots a single acorn growing upon the oak tree and deftly removes it. Meanwhile Claudius manages not to damage anything whilst carefully erasing the raindrops in Gideon’s eye.

After the storm fades the magi count their spoils, whilst Albertus the familiar regards the acorn with obvious avarice. The magi wisely guard their treasure but Hypatia proposes that she might be willing to share some of the spoils in exchange for some material from the Archmages library.
After brief conversation the owl ‘swallows’ Luscinia and Hypatia and they speak with the man Albert in the chambers inside. Albert reveals that Ferros ex Merinita apparently had a serious change of motivation after some misadventure with a Fairy Queen of Arcadia. He offers to provide access to some of Cymbulus’ old Aegis notes and lab space in exchange for vis, and seems somewhat unconcerned about the dangers of his twilight-visiting master lying outside an Aegis ritual. The magi withdraw to consider the offer.

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Session 7 - Autumn 1220

Claudius, Luscinia, Gideon and Simon travel to Allerton. They are accompanied by the surly John of Stoke and the credulous Paul Threefinger.

They examine the ‘bad horse’ determining it to be a knight’s destrier, though the locals offer no satisfactory explanation of how they acquired it. Luscinia spots a number of odd occurences about the horse, but no one else does.

Entering the village tavern they speak at some length with the barkeep and effective leader of Allerton, Bart. Some gossiping and thought probing later they have established a number of points of contention between the villages; ranging from Edwinstowe’s jealousy of the horse, to the relatively recent refusal of the local priest to marry a woman of Edwinstowe to a man of Allerton.

Outside John of Stoke spots a child playing behind the horse which seems to have reacted with concern. The grog rushes over and manages to shield the child, as the mount delivers a vicious kick, Paul arrives a moment later and gets the destrier under control. The horse’s owner Luke scolds the child, and explains that it is a foundling, left in the village some time ago. The magi are interested by the locals’ cold reaction to the child and Claudius’ second sight picks up signs of the Gift. Gideon determines that his name is Nathaniel.

Claiming that the child may be the offspring of nobility they can contact, the magi bundle the child up and set off for home, making vague mention of possible rewards. John complains that his bruise feels strangely hot, and Luscinia reiterates her assertion that something about the beast is strange. Fortunately the strange effect on the grog fades once they are some distance back down the trail to Edwinstowe.

In the closer village they obtain Father Alan’s help, the priest rather flustered by their arrival but obviously anxious to exert his spirital authority to the newcomers. Simon’s attempts to provide helpful theological suggestions, clearly intimidate the priest; however seeing the Criamon’s difficulty with communication he invites him to assist with a sermon next Sunday.

The magi continue to gently provoke the tensions between villages and implant mental suggestions that a trip to the Thynghowe would surely resolve the matter.

Returning to the covenant the mages study the child a bit more closely and deduce that his muteness is the result of deliberate damage to the tongue. Before they can make many more inquiries Simon botches an attempt to read Nathaniel’s mind and the pair are cast into twilight together. The magus recovers quickly but the boy remains stuck in twilight.

Claudius travels back to Lincoln and gives the Redcap station a kick to get their missives in transit sooner rather than later.

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Session 8

John returns from the the feeling much better and the magi debate the likelihood of divine intervention.

The Magi decide to wait a week for Hypatia to finish healing. During this time Luscinia overhears an improbably complicated birdsong and decides to investigate. She sings a counterpoint to the melody which while competent isn’t her finest work; the other bird, which she has recognised as her Fairy Friend, departs after a mocking burst of song.
Examining the area the Fairy was sitting in, the group finds a casting text for Aegis of the Hearth lying on the forest floor. They quickly return the books to the safety of the library, noticing that it appears to be the propety of Alumnus ex Jerbiton, who Gideon recognises as a magus from Schola Prognostica.
The mages decide to send a slow message informing Alumnus of their recovery of his text, hopefully he won’t recieve it until after the new year’s ritual.

Venturing into one of the lower tunnels the magi, accompanied by Duncan and Strong Tom, encounter a large iron gate guarded by militant German Kobolds. The underfolk summon an english speaking goblin to converse with the magi who informs them that they have reached the realm of the Iron Queen and her consort the Iron Lord.

The Magi quickly determine that the Iron Lord is Ferros ex Merinita, and that he and the Iron Queen are gathering an army to assault Arcadia. Through Lillith, Luscinia and Duncan’s creative abilties a number of gifts are created to please the fairy folk, and it is agreed that they can visit the Iron Queen so long as they wear enchanted iron collars that will in some way ‘ensure their loyalty’.

Hypatia (collared) and Luscinia (as a bird) venture within, passing by sounds of industry before coming to the throneroom of a temptress fae queen. The queen agrees that the magi could re-establish the former Earl’s deal of Iron for prosperity, and subsequently proposes a second deal exchanging arcane knowledge and power for an unspecified service from the magi. The party politely withdraw, Hypatia alarmed and irritated by the Queen’s ability to determine her desires. Strong Tom and Duncan seem somewhat besotted following the encounter.

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Session 9
  • The Magi attend church on Sunday. Lillith has a conversation with Duncan about his non-attendance, vaguely chastising his impiety. The blacksmith note that she already seems to have been cursed by god.
  • At the church Simon gives an inspirational reading, much to the amazement of both his Sodales and Father Alan. As he finishes Simon spots an angel in the rafters.
  • Hypatia soothes the frustrated Father Alan and persuades him that he should visit the covenant for some bracing theological debate. William of York appears enthusiastic about providing a comprehensive re-education.
  • Whilst Luscinia eyes the ‘devil horse’ suspiciously and Claudius helps Simon search for angels, Gideon Mentems the townsfolks into going to the Thynghowe. Claudius spots a pure white feather snagged on the bottom of Simon’s sandal.
  • Because of her disguise as a blind woman, Lillith is invited to ride the Allerton horse to the Thynghowe- this proves unfortunate when a spectral brand sears the the beast and it dumps her to the ground. Fortunately the concussion is not too serious. Luscinia manages to comfort the horse, and sensing its feelings notes a agonising burning sensation in its hindquarters.
  • The Magi spot Tom Forester approaching who informs them that he’s been tracking a bear nearby. He shows Gideon to the tracks, but the Guernicus’ scrying is repelled by some sort of magic resistance. The magi quietly order their grogs to readiness in case of trouble.
  • Hypatia scouts ahead with the assistance of a local lad named Timothy. Despite the difficult terrain she is easily able to control the warhorse.
  • At the Thynghowe the magi prepare for bear related trouble whilst the villagers get to their dispute. Proceedings are somewhat interupted by Sir Gilbert’s discovery of his men’s orders however he is muted before he can do too much damage.
  • Luke, the horse’s owner, confesses to Simon that he found the animal wandering near a man’s savaged corpse. He left the poor fellow without a proper burial, being siezed with a greed for the fine animal. Gideon notes that these details don’t match up with what he saw in Luke’s mind previously.
  • As the meeting reaches its conclusion a terrible roaring echoes out of the surrounding forest.
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Session 10

The mages investigate the Feasting Tree and discover that a cannibal cook has taken mastery over the kitchen, evidently to the dismay of the jovial Master of the Revels.

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Session 11
  • The mages travel with Simon to recover the knights body.
  • They discover a demon worm disguised as a tunnel which seeks to prevent people from recieving Christian burial.
  • After a brief scuffle Hypatia manages to escape being eaten and Simon blasts the worm to oblivion.
  • They recover two bodies from the worm’s cavernous belly. They summon the spirit of the knight who identifies himself as Rodrick de Rebbury and asks the group to send word of his demise to his mother Elaine.
  • They are unsuccessful in contacting the spirit of the other corpse. Later investigations produce a Botch with unknown consequences.
  • They travel to Nottingham and speak with the Archdeacon, who agrees to look after Sir Rodrick’s body until his family can arrive for the burial.
  • Lillith and Duncan search for a good source of iron, and manage to avoid any trouble…so far.
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